What is Valentine’s Day?
Is it a day that we hold special, taking the opportunity to do something nice for the one, or one’s we love? Or is it, as the cynics among us proscribe, just a day created by companies to move product during a particularly slow period in the retail calendar?
Actually, it’s neither.
Saint Valentine’s Day is, or was, a religious celebration honouring Valentinus, an early Christian Saint.
The day didn’t really take on romantic overtones until 18th century England when it is said the custom of presenting flowers to your loved ones began.
OK, enough history.
Wait a minute…speaking of history, here’s a bit of history…a photo of Music Man and me when we were babies! We’re all dressed up and going out for New Years Eve.
I’m 19 and he’s 20. Meeting him was the best thing that ever happened to me. He’s the most intelligent person I have ever known, thoughtful, kind and the best life partner in the world. We’re an inseparable team and he’s the absolute love of my life…then and now.
Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world and has evolved from flowers to cards and romantic dinners and gifts of all descriptions.
But, what does it mean to you? How do you recognize the day? Or do you?
In our early years together, Music Man and I would almost always go out for a nice dinner. But as kids came along and life became a little more complicated, things gradually changed. Nowadays, we like to keep things relatively simple and home oriented.
For example, we usually work together, with a glass of wine (of course!) and make a special dinner. It could be anything from Seafood Linguine to Butternut Squash Risotto With Pancetta.
The what isn’t nearly as important as, the how.
In other words, we do it together.
We laugh and talk, sometimes listen to music and most importantly, spend time with each other.
If relationships are about sharing and caring, then time, is one of the most important gifts you can share with people you love.
Speaking of sharing. I want to share with you one of my favourite recipes. It is for Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Today I have put a Valentine’s Day spin on them, but you can very easily customize this recipe for any occasion.
Cut them round and add a little dollop of frosting and a piece of cherry for every day or use any holiday themed cookie cutter, adjusting the embellishments to suit the occasion.
- 1-1/2 cups white sugar
- 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp vanilla
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp salt
- 500 g (16 ounces) brick-style cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sifted icing (confectioners) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In a large bowl, whisk together, flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
- In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Continue beating and add eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in vanilla.
- Beat in flour mixture just until blended, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each piece into a disk.
- Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. (Can be refrigerated overnight)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Remove one disk of dough from refrigerator.
- On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough until slightly less than ¼ inch thick.
- With floured cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; reserve trimmings. as they can be gathered into a ball and rerolled and recut.
- Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake until edges are golden, approximately 12 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Decorate cooled cookies as desired.
- In bowl of electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy
- Mix in the vanilla
- Gradually stir in the icing sugar.
- Beat until fluffy.
- Use as desired to decorate cookies or frost a cake.
This Valentine’s Day, try to do something special with the one you love.
I would love to hear how you plan to spend the day.